OPERATIONS

Lowe’s to build DC in Rome, Ga.

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Lowe’s Cos. plans to build a 1.4-million-sq.-ft. distribution center in Rome, Ga.

The facility, due to open in 2013, will service Lowe’s stores in western Georgia, northern Florida and Alabama

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OPERATIONS

Staples adding Ryder natural gas vehicles to fleet

BY Marianne Wilson

Miami — Ryder System announced that it and Staples have agreed to add 10 heavy-duty compressed natural gas (CNG) tractors to Ryder’s dedicated fleet servicing Staples. The tractors — the first of their kind used in Staples’ third party dedicated operations — will replace ten diesel tractors currently used by Ryder for Staples, and have been made available through Ryder’s natural gas vehicle project agreement with the San Bernardino Associated Governments in Southern California.

The $38.7 million Ryder/SANBAG project is part of a public/private partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, the California Energy Commission, the Southern California Association of Governments Clean Cities Coalition, and Ryder.

Staples has been a Ryder Dedicated Contract Carriage customer for 19 years, benefiting from a customized suite of transportation services that optimize fleet operations, including drivers, equipment, management, and ongoing engineering support. Ryder’s DCC solution enables businesses to provide and control product and service delivery without having to invest in their own private fleets.

The CNG tractors will be used to transport inventory to Staples stores in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and the Inland Empire, and will be serviced out of Ryder’s network of natural gas compliant maintenance facilities in Southern California.

“Improving the efficiency of our transportation fleet is an important part of our strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy conservation in our operations,” said Mark Day, senior manager of carrier management at Staples. “Leveraging the environmental and cost-saving benefits of natural gas vehicles is one example of the kind of sustainable choices that we are making to reduce our operational impacts. We believe that by partnering with Ryder in this type of initiative, we can do our part to help protect the environment and save money at the same time.”

According to Ryder, CNG vehicles produce 20% to 30% less emissions than comparable diesel vehicles, and natural gas costs as much as 42% less per equivalent gallon of diesel (based on current diesel fuel prices).

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Blockbuster Canada looks to shut down operations

BY Staff Writer

Toronto — Blockbuster Canada Co. is winding down operations. Grant Thornton Ltd., the receiver in charge of selling the chain, announced that it is seeking a court order to shut down the company’s remaining 253 stores.

The accounting firm was appointed receiver for the video chain in May. In June, it shuttered about 150 underperforming Blockbuster outlets, and began the hunt for a buyer for the remaining outlets. But Grant Thornton said it has been unable to find a suitable buyer.

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